Published: September 2012

To SMARS and Beyond

Prescriber Update 33(3): 23
September 2012

Medsafe has now launched the Suspected Medicine Adverse Reaction Search (SMARS).

In a first for New Zealand, SMARS provides consumers, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies with online access to information about suspected adverse reactions to medicines reported in New Zealand.

By searching on the active ingredient of a medicine you can now find out:

Importantly, the information contained in SMARS does not summarise the complete known safety profile of a medicine. The data available comes from spontaneous adverse reaction reports and only represent suspected adverse reactions.

Comprehensive information about the safety and efficacy of medicines approved in New Zealand can be found in medicine data sheets at

Medsafe stresses that consumers should not make decisions about their own medication without first discussing any concerns with a healthcare professional.

SMARS is available in concert with the Australian Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN) and represents the first tangible development in the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA).

SMARS addresses the growing public demand for access to more information about their medicines. SMARS also provides a resource for healthcare professionals to see what events are associated with different medicine ingredients.

Healthcare professionals and consumers are encouraged to report suspected adverse reactions to medicines to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM). Information about how to report is available at

The SMARS database can be found at